Makhachkala, 29 April, Caucasus Times: The Dagestani prosecutor’s office has overruled the verdict on the refusal to instigate criminal charges against the director-general of the Dagestani Nastoyashcheye Vremya weekly, Rizvan Rizvanov, the investigations directorate of the investigations committee under the Russian Prosecutor’s Office in the Republic of Dagestan reported on 29 April.
The investigations directorate of the Dagestani prosecutor’s office ruled back on 13 April that there was no crime in the acts of Rizvanov and did not instigate criminal proceedings against him. Fifteen journalists of the Nastoyashcheye Vremya public and political weekly had appealed to the investigations directorate to instigate criminal proceedings against the founder of the newspaper, having accused him of interfering in the editorial and personnel policy and attempting to impose “an information contract killing”. The journalists believe that Rizvanov is making attempts to get rid of employees who do not suit him. For instance, the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief Andrey Melamedov was sacked in this way.
Journalists said that there was an order to the newspaper to purposefully “attack” the republic’s President Mukhu Aliyev. The newspaper’s reporters also said that the newspaper had a “black list” of people who could not be mentioned or appear in the newspaper’s office. The list includes over nine people, including Channel One reporter Ilyas Shurpayev who was killed last March and GTRK Dagestan director Gadzhi Abashilov who was also killed.
The new editor-in-chief, Khanzhan Kurbanov, again on orders from the director-general, has issued several warnings to members of the newspaper staff in order to subsequently dismiss them under the Labour Code.